Analysing Olivier Giroud's Performance from Arsenal vs. Tottenham

Rory MarsdenFeatured ColumnistMarch 16, 2014

Arsenal's Tomas Rosicky, right, celebrates scoring with teammate Olivier Giroud during the English Premier League soccer match between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal at White Hart Lane stadium in London, Sunday, March 16, 2014. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Matt Dunham/Associated Press

Olivier Giroud put in a distinctly underwhelming performance in Arsenal's 1-0 win over Tottenham at White Hart Lane on Sunday.

He failed to make any real impact as the Gunners claimed a victory over their fierce rivals to move within four points of the top of the table and with a game in hand on leaders Chelsea.

Arsenal were a touch fortunate to claim the victory. After a Tomas Rosicky thunderbolt put the away side ahead in just the second minute, it was Spurs who had the better chances of the game.

Speaking before the game, Spurs boss Tim Sherwood said, per BBC Sport: "It is my first time as a manager at the Lane, to be standing opposite Arsene Wenger, and hopefully I will get one over on them."

Despite a strong performance from Spurs, he was not granted his wish.

But Giroud was left isolated up front for much of the 90 minutes, meaning he could not make a considerable impact on proceedings.

When he did get the ball at his feet he often had no options and was increasingly hustled off the ball by the Tottenham defenders. 

Having scored four goals in his last four appearances for Arsenal, Giroud came into this north London derby in good form. But he was not on good form in this match, unable to produce the moments of magic that he has done on other occasions this season.

The result will be hugely gratifying to Arsene Wenger, his side having been knocked out of the Champions League to Bayern Munich earlier in the week.

Matt Dunham/Associated Press

However, he will hope that his first-choice striker can improve upon his display against Tottenham, as Giroud will be key if Arsenal are going to make a genuine run for the title.

He was too easily marked at White Hart Lane, rarely finding space for himself in which he could have created some opportunities. 

Indeed, the Daily Telegraph's Paul Hayward was none too impressed with the Frenchman's performance:

Meanwhile, FutbolBible gave him a scathing assessment:

Unusually for Arsenal, they were outplayed in possession terms against Spurs, only having 41 percent of the ball. Their local rivals also came out on top in many other areas:

But the only stat that really matters is the score, and in that department Arsenal were superior. That much is not debatable.

Being genuine title challengers and favourites for the FA Cup, Arsenal need a top striker. They can't expect to find consistent success without reliable contributions in that regard.

They have that in Giroud, but he will have to improve drastically from Sunday to make an impact on the rest of the season.